If your fine antique furniture has been damaged by fire or flood; or is suffering decades of neglect, Vincent Reed and his team are the experts in water damaged woodwork and joinery. They have the experience and traditional skills to restore your historic woodwork back to beauty.
With over 30 years antique furniture restoration behind him, Vincent Reed has an extensive portfolio covering the repair and renovation of valuable pieces of every age and style; and in varying degrees of damage or neglect. He not only has a working knowledge of traditional woodworking techniques and construction; but over the years, has developed successful procedures specifically for drying out water damaged timber, and for repairing or replacing damaged sections. He offers a comprehensive consultation service prior to starting any furniture restoration project.
Modern stripping methods can be harsh on antique timbers; and most available finishing oils and waxes contain harmful chemicals, or create a build-up of product that spoils the natural colour, grain and patina of the finished piece. Vincent Reed prides himself on using only traditional tools and techniques to bring out the natural beauty and finish of the original; and he takes care not to remove the patina, marks and dents that denote its age and provenance. Furniture is carefully conserved and restored to authentic condition, but not at the cost of its antiquity.
Flood or water damaged fine furniture can often be fully conserved or restored even where the wood is badly warped, split or cupped. Every piece is initially investigated to establish the extent of the deterioration and a decision made on how it might be stopped or minimised. Using their existing wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience, an action plan is agreed, designed to stabilise and maintain the condition of the item before restoration and applying the important final finish. Vincent Reed Ltd have developed a purpose built workshop in East Sussex where items can be carefully dismantled and labelled, timbers straightened and dried in a specially constructed kiln, and the piece reassembled using the correct historic methods.
Vincent insists on using only authentic tools and techniques to preserve the integrity of every item. If necessary, his team are skilled in creating new joints in the traditional way; and if glueing is required, they use only animal glue which can be easily dissolved should the item require any kind of repairs in the future, unlike man-made glues. His philosophy is led by the belief that every renovation must be sympathetic to the original and not alter it in any way.
The wrong final finish or worse – an ‘over restored’ procedure which vigorously removes all the quirks and dents that gives a piece its character and sense of history, then douses it in a synthetic varnish – can ruin the lengthy and careful process of repair and renovation. Vincent Reed is meticulous about maintaining the authenticity of every item; his aim is always to restore its natural beauty, whilst retaining an authentic sense of age and history.
Sometimes experience is the key to which finish is appropriate; occasionally a scrap of preserved paint or stain will provide a clue to the original look. Sadly, many of the techniques that produced the old finishes are now a dying trade, but at Vincent Reed Ltd, skilled artisans can still offer clients a full range of finishes such as French polishing, and hand painting; as well as specialist services like marquetry, veneering, turning, glazing and even carving replacement mouldings and lock repairs for antique furniture. Many of the finishes are made in the workshop to traditional recipes; others have been formulated by Vincent himself over many years, to achieve the desired balance of good looks and permanence.